Pioneers of the LGBTQ Religious Community
When we mention the word 'pioneer', we immediately think of the notion of an individual who either created something completely new, or was the first person to embark on such a mission. That is what we have collected here - a group of individuals in the religious community who were first in their endeavors and accomplishments.
Religious organizations and religion itself, of course, have generally been hostile to the LGBTQ community as a whole, though there has been significant progress to and acceptance of LGBTQ individuals and leaders in the religious community in developed countries. Much of this has been accomplished by the individuals highlighted below, while much of the work continues to be carried forward by many other religious individuals listed in QueerBio.Com.
The religious community includes a broad range of religions, and in our efforts to uncover the LGBTQ pioneers of the religious community we have managed to find individuals of many faiths - Jewish, Christian (Lutheran, Catholic, Episcopalian, etc.), Muslim, and others.
The Religious Archives Network (RAN) catalogues a large number of LGBTQ religious participants and helps to support the archiving and presentation of the history of this community. The Pacific School of Religion in the United States has its Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry.
Do you know:
- who was the first openly gay Imam of the Muslim faith?
- who founded the first LGBTQ church for homosexuals in France?
- who was the world's first transgender priest?
Read on to find the answers to these questions, and to be introduced to a fascinating group of individuals
- Eilert Frerichs - United Church Minister who fought successfully to get LGBTQ individuals accepted into the church and allow the ordination of self-declared homosexuals (1988).
- Brent Hawkes - Metropolitan Community Church minister who performed the first same-sex marriage in Canada
- Gary Paterson - first openly gay moderator, United Church of Canada
- Joseph Douce - founder of the 1st LGBTQ Church in France
- Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed - Imam and founder of an LGBTQ Mosque
- Lionel Blue - prominent journalist, and one of the first Rabbis in the U.K. to come out as gay
- Sharon Ferguson - CEO, Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement
- Mark Solomon - one of the first openly gay Rabbis in the U.K.
- Carol Stone - world's first transgender priest, Anglican
- Ron Yosef - first orthodox Jew to come out as gay
- Ouyang Wen Feng - first gay pastor in Malaysia
- Jose Mantero - first openly gay Catholic priest in Spain
- Scott Anderson - first openly gay Minister, Presbyterian Church
- Daniel Atwood - first rabbi to be ordained in the Orthodox section
- Ellen Barrett - first lesbian ordained priest, Episcopalian
- Allen Bennett - first reform rabbi to come out as gay (1978)
- Malcolm Boyd - first openly gay Episcopalian priest
- Carl Bean - founder, Unity Fellowship Church
- Deborah Brin - first openly gay rabbi in Judaism
- Guy Erwin - first LGBTQ Lutheran Bishop
- Darlene Garner - first African American Clergyperson, Metropolitan Community Church
- Steven Greenberg - first openly gay Orthodox rabbi
- William Johnson - first openly gay ordained Minister, United Church of Christ
- Cindi Love - former Executive Director, Metropolitan Community Church
- Reverend Troy Perry - founder, Metropolitan Community Church
- Bishop Gene Robinson - first openly gay Bishop of the Episcopalian church
- Robert Wood - activist and author of the book 'Christ and the Homosexual' (1960)